Upcoming computer classes
Computers may be everywhere – on our desks, in our pockets, even on our wrists – but that doesn’t mean that everyone knows how to use one.
At the library, our staff teaches people basic computer skills every day. We hear a lot of frustration, embarrassment, low self-esteem, confusion, and fear. Computer users are often ashamed to ask for help, so it’s fortunate that librarians have a special radar for people who look a little lost.
Still, it’s encouraging to us to hear the feedback after we help people. They thank us for being patient so their nerves can settle enough for them to learn effectively. They appreciate the fact that we take it slow so they can follow along, instead of racing through so fast that we lose them. Although they might balk at our “teach them to fish” approach initially, they usually leave grateful that we put them through the discomfort of hands-on learning so they can go home with the confidence that yes, they CAN do it themselves. And next time, they hesitate less about exploring on their own and asking for help when they need it.
We teach people in passing, set up 1-on-1 appointments to spend more time with the people who need it, and offer group classes in basic computer skills.
This fall, our partner VA Career Works will be offering four-session courses in basic computer skills at two branches: Eagle Rock and Blue Ridge.
Session 1 (Introduction to Computers I) starts at the very beginning: how to turn a computer on, use the mouse, and untangle the mess of keyboard, monitor, computer, mouse and other stuff.
Session 2 (Introduction to Computers II) moves on to word processing. You’ll learn how to find a program or app that allows you to type a document. You’ll practice selecting, editing, and moving text using shortcuts or your mouse. You’ll also learn how to save your document, find and open it again, and print it.
Session 3 (Word Processing & Basic Computer Data Entry) shows you how to format text using Microsoft Word and Google Docs. Then you’ll practice uploading your document to a website.
Session 4 (Internet and Email) uncovers the mysterious Internet as seen through web browsers. You’ll learn what a search engine is and how to use it, how to sign up for and use free email, and how to keep yourself and your private information safe while navigating the Internet.
The sessions at the Eagle Rock Library are held every Tuesday 10:30 a.m.-noon from September 6-27, and the sessions at the Blue Ridge Library are held every Tuesday 1-2:30 p.m. from October 4-25. Space is limited, so call the Eagle Rock branch at 540-928-2800 or the Blue Ridge branch at 540-928-2900 to sign up for one or all sessions at that branch with VA Career Works.
Doesn’t fit your schedule? Stop by or call any of our library branches to get 1-on-1 assistance with your computer basics learning journey. We’re happy to help!
– Botetourt County Libraries
Library Calendar of Upcoming Events
Saturday, September 3 – Monday, September 5 in observance of Labor Day.
Coffee & Connections: Billy Martin
Tuesday, September 6, 10:30am-12:00pm at the Blue Ridge Library – Billy Martin, member of the Botetourt County Board of Supervisors
Wednesday, September 7, 10:30am-12:00pm at the Eagle Rock Library – Mandy Adkins, Director of Botetourt County Parks & Recreation
Drop by to meet the special guest of the day. Ask questions, share ideas, and get to know the people in your community!
Tuesdays 10:30-11:30am at the Fincastle Library
Thursdays 10:30am-11:30am at the Blue Ridge Library
Toddlers can enjoy a special space for free play with educational and soft play toys while caregivers enjoy some social time with other adults.
Tuesdays – Blue Ridge Library
Wednesdays – Eagle Rock Library
Thursdays – Fincastle Library
Fridays – Buchanan Library
This year we will focus on the alphabet. Preschoolers will learn how to identify the letters, what sounds they make, and how to form them in print and with objects found in their world. Each week highlights a different letter through books, songs, finger plays and interactive boards.
Held monthly at each branch.
1st Tuesdays 3:30pm – Fincastle
2nd Wednesdays 4pm – Buchanan
3rd Tuesdays 2:30pm – Eagle Rock
4th Tuesdays 4pm – Blue Ridge
Grade school kids learn key STEM skills – how to experiment, make mistakes, and learn from their experiences. The projects we do in STEM Club are a fun way to increase critical thinking and logical analysis skills, instilling a lifelong passion for learning. September’s project will be Cup Gliders to teach the magnus effect (what baseball pitchers use to make curveballs curve). Learn the magnus effect, then see it in action at the start of the MLB playoffs in October!
Held monthly at each branch.
2nd Thursdays 4-5pm – Blue Ridge
1st Tuesdays 4-5pm – Buchanan
3rd Mondays 4-5pm – Fincastle
4th Tuesdays 2:30-3:30pm – Eagle Rock
Grade school kids will be challenged to engineer various projects using LEGOs. September’s challenge is to engineer a nametag in either 2D or (even harder) 3D.
Held monthly at each branch.
Amish Book Club: 1st Wednesdays 10:30am at Buchanan. September’s titles are any Amish coming of age stories.
VA Is for Authors Book Club: 2nd Wednesdays 10:30am at Fincastle. September’s title is “Norvel” by Ken Conklin.
True Crime Book Club: 3rd Mondays 7:00pm at Blue Ridge. September’s title is “Trailed” by Kathryn Miles.
Appalachian Voices Book Club: 4th Thursdays 11:00am at Eagle Rock. September’s title is “A Land More Kind Than Home” by Wiley Cash.
Health & Wellness Series
Several Wednesdays this fall, 11am-12pm (Sept. 7; Oct. 5 & 12; Nov. 2 & 9)
Eagle Rock Library
Registered nurse Judy Fitzgerald leads sessions on different topics that help you on your weight loss or general health and wellness journey.
Therapy Dog Reading Sessions
Wednesday, September 7, 4:00-5:30pm – Buchanan Library
Thursday, September 22, 3:00-4:30pm – Fincastle Library
Children ages 5-12 can read any book of their choice in a 1-on-1 session with a therapy dog. Therapy dogs can help children become more comfortable and confident in the classroom, less stressed, and more focused. Registration required. Call 540-928-2900 or your local branch to reserve your child’s 15-minute reading session.
Thursdays 4:00-4:30pm – Buchanan Library
Fridays 2:45-3:15pm – Eagle Rock Library
Join us for a weekly craft class for kids. If you don’t have time, drop by any branch at your convenience that week to pick up the take-and-make activity kit to take home and do on your own! The first week’s project will be God’s Eye Baby Turtles. Instructions are also available on the library’s website.